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Death Rates In Stroke, Heart Failure & Cancer Are Elevated In People With Low Cholesterol Levels



In “Low “cholesterol is associated with mortality from stroke, heart disease & cancer: The Jichi Medical School Cohort Study” by Nago, N. et al, it was noted in the Journal of the Epidemiology (2011;21(1):67-74) that “low cholesterol was associated with increased risks of cancer, hemorrhagic stroke and heart failure excluding myocardial infarction”.


The senior investigator in this study was Dr Naoki Nago from the Tokyo-kita Social Health Insurance Hospital.


Dr Nago studied 12,334 healthy Japanese adults between the ages of 40 & 69 to investigate the relationship between low cholesterol and mortality, and examined whether the relationship differs with respect to cause of death.


The study found that men with the lowest cholesterol (under 4.14 mmol/L or 160 mg/dL) had a 37% higher death rate than men with the highest cholesterol (over 6.21 mmol/L or 240 mg/dL).


It also found that women with the lowest cholesterol (under 4.14 mmol/L or 160 mg/dL) had a 53% higher death rate than women with the highest cholesterol (over 6.21 mmol/L or 240 mg/dL).


Overall the risk of death in the lowest cholesterol group for hemorrhagic stroke, heart failure (excluding myocardial infarction) and cancer mortality was significantly higher than those of the moderate cholesterol group, for each cause of death.


The studies conclusions noted:


“It is difficult to interpret the relationship between low cholesterol and heart disease mortality.”


“Because low cholesterol is associated with high cancer mortality, low cholesterol is a key finding in cancer.”


“Our results are specific to people living in rural areas of Japan and their lifestyle, and may not be applicable to urban Japanese or other ethnic groups. Because Japanese in rural areas have less coronary disease than people in Western countries, their risks from low cholesterol may be higher”.


Links to the supporting article can be found here:


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